Politics is the pursuit and maintenance of power. In the US, politics is the pursuit and maintenance of power between the Democrats and the Republicans. Democrats seem to have the goal to use their power to restore the notion of egalitarianism in the sense that all should be equal all of the time whereas Republicans seem to wish to restore the notion of egalitarianism in the sense that all should have an equal chance at the pursuit of happiness.
I lean toward the Republican ideal. Therefore, the immediate playing field—our current economy—needs to be flattened right away in order to ensure that equal chance, which means a redistribution of wealth is in order, and this is the controversial idea held by Democrats.
I have lived long enough to have experienced a more level playing field. I bought real estate, a home, at the age of 22 with no help from anyone else. I was able to save money each year because I was—and still am—a relentless penny pincher. However, these days I seem to be just a hair over breaking even, yet my lifestyle has not changed. I'm still the cheapest doggone woman you'll ever meet! Yet, my property value has dropped to the rate of when I first purchased it, and my 401K is in a painfully slow recovery from the 2008 stock-market drop.
What is the problem? I don't know for certain; however, my feeling is that a very small percentage of very rich individuals hold a disproportionate percentage of the wealth in this country, and it seems to be choking the economy. The very few very rich people that we have in this country cannot consume like the millions of average-income people we have. For example, how many hamburgers can a very rich person buy? A whole hell of a lot, but is he or she going to buy a whole hell of a lot of hamburgers? No. Why would one very rich person buy a bunch of hamburgers? Rich people don't spend their money like average-income people do; rich people are actually very cheap. (I know because I was supposed to be a rich person.) Money must be in the hands of many people so that many people can make many purchases to ensure a robust exchange of goods and services. Therefore, I am in favor of a one-time redistribution of wealth, which will inevitably happen either peacefully through cooperation or more likely cataclysmically through revolt.
Another important difference between the Democrats and Republicans is the environment. Republicans strongly lean toward the sentiment that they do not want anything—without good reason—to hamper business and commerce; Democrats often advocate environmental protection. In my lifetime, I have had perhaps the unusual opportunity to rub elbows with and to be in earshot of business leaders who sometimes unwittingly and sometimes knowingly have expressed utter disdain for environmental protection. Thus, based on my experience, I simply do not trust corporations to protect the environment, and I am quite dubious about basic human nature when it comes to protecting the environment. Nothing affects my voting decision more than the need for environmental regulation; therefore, I tend to vote for Democrats.
Nevertheless, in my heart of hearts, I am a libertarian. I can confidently say that I take full responsibility for myself and don't blame others for my mistakes or misfortunes. I hold to the idea that I sell my labor; thus, my labor is as skilled and as reliable as I can make it, which means I get up every weekday to show up ready and willing to work. I do not knowingly break the law, and I seek no ways to cheat anyone.
Unfortunately, I feel resentment towards people who—because of governmental assistance—get to stay at home. If I had a little more time to spend at home, oh, how creative I would be. It may be that I am blinded by the stereotype of the typical welfare case, but I have little sympathy for people who have lost hope and therefore sit at home watching TV, gaining weight, and having babies. This total failure in maintaining "individualhood" ought to be met with the utmost disdain in order to deter such a lapse. Nevertheless, I feel that minimal governmental support for the most abject cases should be realized. Those cases would be mostly situations where people are physically unable to take care of themselves. All psychological cases should be dismissed. Naturally, I am just expressing my favor for tough love. Ultimately, matters such as these ought to be judged with compassion but not compassion run amuck.
Finally, I squirm at the thought of being pigeon holed or labeled Democrat or Republican based on my writing here. For the most part, I claim that I am a moderate or better an independent. However, if you call me a libertarian, I don't mind, and if you don't think I am deserving of such an association because of how I feel about environmental protection, I don't mind. I do mind if your politics is just that: labels and blind adherence to ideologies. It seems to me that approach leads to . . . well, what we have.
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